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The Originals: Rock & Roll Years

August 22nd, 2019 Leave a comment Go to comments


This edition of The Originals covers the Rock & Roll Years: the 1950s and very early 1960s.  Not every song is rock & roll, but the better-known versions of these songs would have been bought by those who also bought rock & roll records. And, having already covered the lesser-known originals of Elvis Presley hits (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2), the story must begin with Bill Haley & His Comets. Poor yourself a cup of coffee, or a long drink, sit back, and read about the lesser-known covers of the Rock & Roll Years.


Rock Around The Clock
It is indisputable that Bill Haley was a key figure in converting rock & roll into the mainstream — or, if we prefer to stray from euphemistic rationalisation, make a black genre infused with some country sensibility palatable to white audiences (so that’s a doctoral thesis delivered in 13 glib words). Haley was no more the father of rock & roll as the Bee Gees were the “Kings of Disco”. Rock Around The Clock wasn’t the first rock & roll single either (if there is such an originating record; on the original label it is categorised as a foxtrot), or even Haley’s first rock & roll song.

But it was the first rock & roll #1 hit, and the song’s pivotal influence is undeniable, even if it ripped off a 1947 hit, Hank Williams’ Move It On Over (which Chuck Berry also seems to have borrowed from for Roll Over Beethoven).

Rock Around The Clock was written for Haley, but due to various complications involving a feud between record company and authors, it was recorded first by Sonny Dae and His Knights, an Italian-American band, released on a label co-owned by Haley. The original version — quite distinct from the more famous version — made no impression, and there is no evidence that Haley referred to it in his interpretation. Indeed Haley and his Comets played it frequently on stage before they recorded it.

Haley’s Rock Around The Clock (recorded on 12 April 1954 as Sammy Davis Jr sat outside the studio awaiting his turn in the studio) features one of the great guitar solos of the era, by Danny Cedrone. Alas, Cedrone didn’t live to see his work become a seminal moment in music history — he died on 17 June 1954 in a fall, three days short of his 34rd birthday. Perhaps Cedrone might be regarded as the first rock & roll death. Which would give the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame two reasons to admit him.

As a footnote, Rock-A-Beatin’ Boogie, which also features here, was written by Haley in 1952, but was first recorded by Cedrone’s band The Esquires. Haley recorded, to greater commercial effect, after Cedrone’s death, in 1955.


Shake, Rattle And Roll
In its original version by Big Joe Turner, Shake Rattle And Roll is a salacious song about sexual intercourse (“a one-eyed cat peepin’ in a seafood store”). Haley — a man who did not particularly inspire thoughts of wild sex — defanged the song of its carnal suggestions and made it acceptable to halfway respectable folks.

The song was written by Jesse Stone (under a pseudonym), who also wrote The Drifters’ breakthrough hit Money Honey and arranged The Crew Cuts mega-hit Sh-Boom.  Turner recorded it for Atlantic on February 15, 1954, with Sam “The Man” Taylor on saxophone (he also played on the mentioned Jesse Stone-produced tracks). Stone, and Atlantic bosses Jerry Wexler and Ahmet Ertegün did the backing vocals.

It was released in April 1954 and did respectable business. Haley’s version, released in August that year, made it a classic. One night think that Turner would have resented the white guy getting the big success with the song. But the two soon became close friends, with Haley later helping out a struggling Turner.

Turner, who had enjoyed a career as a blues act in the 1940s (he was Esquire magazine’s male vocalist in 1945) and was a huge influence on rock & roll pioneers like Little Richard and Buddy Holly, died in 1985 at the age of 74.


See You Later Alligator
See You Later Alligator, the final of Haley’s trilogy of million-sellers, was a cover of Bobby Charles’ Cajun blues number. Born Robert Charles Guidry in Louisiana, Charles recorded the song as Later Alligator in 1955 at the age of 17. It was released in November 1955 without making much of a commercial impact. His hero, Fats Domino, also recorded a couple of his songs, first Before I Grow Too Old and in 1960 the hit Walking To New Orleans.

Haley recorded See You Later Alligator on December 12, 1955, apparently allowing his drummer Ralph Jones to play on it, instead of the customary random session musician. Released in January 1956, Haley’s version sold more than a million copies, but reached only #6 in the Billboard charts.

Contrary to popular perception, the catchphrase “See you later, alligator”— with the response “in a while, crocodile”— was not coined by the song, neither in Bobby Charles’ nor Bill Haley’s version. It was an old turn of phrase, used by the jazz set already in the 1930s, along the same lines as “What’s the story, morning glory?”, “What’s your song, King Kong?” and “What’s the plan, Charlie Chan?”. It was, however, due to Haley’s hit that the phrase spread more widely throughout the US and internationally.


Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On
One day in 1956, Jerry Lee Lewis and his father Elmo were passing through Memphis. Aware of how Elvis Presley had emerged from Sam Philips’ Sun studio, Jerry Lee decided to drop in and audition, at the suggestion of his cousin Mickey Gilley (who later would become a big country star; another cousin, Jimmy Swaggart would become a notorious televangelist).

The audition didn’t go very well: nobody wanted a piano player. According to sound engineer Cowboy Jack Clement, Lewis sounded like country guitar legend Chet Atkins on piano. Jerry Lee was dynamic, to be sure, but he was country and boogie woogie — not rock & roll. A month later Lewis returned, with Clement’s encouragement. This time Sam Philips was in the studio. Lewis played a country hit, Ray Price’s Crazy Arms, in blues style. Philips was sold. Before too long, Lewis’ version of Crazy Arms became his debut single, on Sun.

In May 1957, Clement and Philips were seeking a follow-up single. The session to record the Clement composition I’ll Be Me did not go well. During a break, bassist JW Brown — Jerry’s cousin and future father-in-law (13-year-old Myra Gale’s dad) — suggested they play A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On, a cover of a song that had gone over well live. It took just one take for a pivotal moment in rock & roll to be created.

A Whole Lotta Shakin’ had been written by Dave “Curlee” Williams, half black and half Native American, and Roy Hall, a nightclub owner from Nashville who had been recording intermittently in the country genre for 11 years. Or maybe Roy Hall didn’t write it; as so often with songs in the 1950s, there’s no single accepted narrative.

The song became a minor hit in 1955 after the R&B singer Big Maybelle (real name Mabel Louise Smith) recorded it, produced by a young Quincy Jones. Though Big Maybelle’s version was better known, Lewis had picked up the song from a version by Hall, whom he had seen performing it with country star Webb Pierce in Nashville.

Perhaps more than any rock & roll classic, A Whole Lotta Shakin’ embodies the spirit of the nascent genre: a song created by a multi-racial team which first was a rockabilly number, then an R&B song, and then became something different altogether when performed by a singer who had a love for country, blues, and gospel and infused the stew with his own unique anarchic sensibility and lecherous sexuality.

Initially the song was banned, but after Lewis appeared on the Steve Allen Show, which had also provided Elvis with an early platform, the airplay ban was gradually lifted, and the song became a big hit. Suitably, it topped both R&B and country charts.


Walkin’ In The Rain
Not many pop classics were written in jail. Johnny Bragg and Robert Riley were incarcerated in 1952 at the Tennessee State Penitentiary when a chance conversation about the wet weather — Bragg, the story goes, remarked to Riley as they were hanging out in the jail’s courtyard: “Here we are just walking in the rain, and wondering what the girls are doing” — inspired the song’s composition (unnervingly, the comment was made by a man who was serving a sentence for six counts of rape). Bragg wrote the song but was illiterate; burglar Riley’s contribution was in committing it to paper.

Bragg was part of a gospel quintet at Tennessee State. His bandmates comprised two murderers, a fraudster and one convicted for manslaughter. Undesirable characters as they were, The Prisonaires had talent. They were discovered by a local radio producer, Joe Calloway, who recorded the group for a radio broadcast. A tape of the radio performance came to Sam Phillips, founder of the Sun Studio. Although not a big fan of the proto-doo wop style, he negotiated with the authorities to have The Prisonaires delivered, under heavy guard, to his Memphis studio to cut a record, Baby Please, backed with Just Walkin’ In The Rain.

The single was a big local hit, selling 50,000 copies. Thereafter The Prisonaires were allowed to tour, performing on occasion even for the state’s governor. The good times didn’t last long; by 1954 rock & roll was on the up, and Ink Spot type groups — especially if they were jailbirds — were falling by the wayside. In 1955 The Prisonaires disbanded. By 1959, Bragg was paroled, but was in and out of jail for the next ten years. He passed away in 2004 at 78, long after his former bandmates had died.

In 1956, the most rueful of all ’50s singers, Johnnie Ray, recorded Just Walkin’ In The Rain, which despite The Prisonaires’ regional success was an obscure track. The original certainly was despondent, but the so-called Prince of Wails invested it with a different sense of mournfulness. In a word, his first-person protagonist is pathetic.

Ray’s version, produced and whistled by Ray Conniff (he of serial easy listening crimes) and arranged by Mitch Miller, was a massive hit, reaching #2 in the US and #1 in the UK.


La Bamba
A traditional Mexican song, La Bamba might have been recorded as early as 1908, but no recordings are known to exist prior to that from1939 by Alvaro Hernández Ortiz, credited as El Jarocho, which is a term for people from Veracruz state. It also is the name of a genre of folk music from Veracruz which combines indigenous, Spanish and African musical influences. The bamba was a dance traditionally popular at weddings in Veracruz.

Richie Valens’ version infused the song with rock & roll, with future Wrecking Crew legends Earl Palmer on drums and Carol Kaye on bass. His career as a hitmaker lasted for eight months: on February 3, 1959 the 17-year-old perished on the plane crash that also killed Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper.


Rave On
Buddy Holly wrote several stone-cold rock & roll classics, but two of his bigger hits were not by his hand. Both, Oh Boy and Rave On were written by rockabilly singer Sonny West with Bill Tilghman. There’s a third name on the credits: Norman Petty. The rather eccentric Petty was the manager and producer of both West and Holly. He had very little to do with writing either song (though he did impose his unfortunate piano solo on Holly’s version of Rave On), but attached his name to the credits nonetheless.

Before landing up with Petty (whose dealings with Holly were not at all happy), the teenage Sonny West had tried to sign with Sun Records, but was rejected. Staying with his sister near Holly’s hometown of Lubbock, Texas, West looked around for other opportunities to make it as a musician, and eventually found one with Petty in his remote studios in Clovis. He recorded one song with Petty before he bumped into Bill Tilghman, who proposed collaborating on songs for which he already had some basic lyrics.

When West presented Oh Boy to Petty, the manager declined to have the writer record it for release (a demo was recorded in February 1957, but remained unreleased until 2002, when it appeared on West’s Sweet Rockin’ Rock-Ola Ruby album). Instead, Petty gave the song to Buddy Holly and The Crickets, who with some lyrical tweaks cut it between 29 June and 1 July 1957. West reported being a little bitter about it, because he had written the song for himself, not for Holly.

His happiness was not improved by the recording of the other song he wrote with Tilghman. Petty had organised a contract with Atlantic, which would release many great records, but Rave On wasn’t one of them. Petty initially refused to produce what he described as a “hillbilly song”, but eventually it was cut in November 1957 with a backing band from Dallas called The Big Boys, also clients of Petty’s. West didn’t like the result, and the single went nowhere. However, he approved of the way Holly recorded it, in New York in January 1958.


That’ll Be The Day
Before That’ll Be The Day was a hit for Buddy Holly and The Crickets, it was a song by Buddy Holly and The 3 Tunes. Written by Holly with future Cricket Jerry Allison — the title riffs on a recurring catchphrase by John Wayne in The Searchers — it was first recorded in Nashville on 22 July 1956 for Decca. Discouraged by Holly’s lack of success and seeing no future for the Texan, Decca didn’t release it — until the 1957 version recorded by The Crickets became a hit on Brunswick.

Now things became a bit confusing: Decca’s contract with Holly stipulated that Buddy could not re-record songs put down in the 1956 sessions, released or unreleased. New manager Norman Petty (see above) circumvented that by attributing the 1957 single to just The Crickets (of course giving himself a co-writer credit in the process). Brunswick, it turns out, was as Decca subsidiary, so Decca re-signed Holly on another subsidiary, Coral. Thus, Holly’s records with The Crickets appeared on Brunswick, his solo stuff on Coral. All under Decca.

Fittingly, it was a song by the Crickets, That’ll Be The Day, which was the first song the Quarrymen recorded. Soon they’d become The Beatles, taking inspiration for their punning name from Holly’s insect friends. And which label failed to sign The Beatles? The Originals of Beatles covers, including one by Buddy Holly, were covered last month.


Twilight Time / Only You
The Three Suns were an instrumental trio founded in the late 1930s in Philadelphia. Although not particularly well-known, they had a long career that lasted into the ‘60s. Unusual orchestration notwithstanding — their Twilight Time sounds like carousel music — the Three Suns were sought-after performers who spawned imitation groups, including the Twilight Three. (More on The Three Suns here)

Not much seems to be known about the genesis of Twilight Time other than it becoming something of a signature tune for the group. They eventually recorded it in 1944. It had become so popular that songwriter Buck Ram put his evocative lyrics — “Heavenly shades of night are falling, it’s twilight time” — to the melody. The first cover version of the song was recorded in 1944 by bandleader Les Brown (it featured on Any Major Hits of 1944).

Twilight Time had been recorded intermittently — including a rather nice ragtime version by Johnny Maddox and the Rhythmasters — by the time Buck Ram signed the vocal group The Platters, for whom he co-wrote some of their biggest hits, such as Only You and The Great Pretender.

By 1958 it had been almost two years since The Platters had enjoyed a Top 10 hit. Ram dug out Twilight Time and his protegés had their third US #1. The song also reached #3 in Britain, their highest chart placing there until Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (another cover whose original features here) topped the UK charts later that year.

Only You also features here, with a first attempt by The Platters from 1954 before their reworked 1955 recording became a monster hit.


Blueberry Hill
Blueberry Hill is Fats Domino’s song, but before the rock & roll pioneer got his ivory-tinkling hands on it, it had been a cowboy song, a jazz track (by Gene Krupa, no less) and, in its first recording, a big band number — and those just in the year it was written: 1940.

If Blueberry Hill’s melody sounds a vaguely Italian, it’s because its writer, Vincent Rose, was a Sicilian who came to the US at the age of 17. He already was 60 when he wrote song (which also went by the Italian title, Loma de Cerezas), and died in 1944. The lyrics were written by Al Lewis and Larry Stock (the latter also wrote the lyrics for that great Dean Martin song, You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You).

It’s not entirely clear who was the first to record the song, but the first to release it, on 31 May 1940, was the Sammy Kaye Orchestra with Tommy Ryan on vocals. It appeared under the unwieldy name Swing And Sway With Sammy Kaye, the band’s tagline. Four days later Krupa’s version was issued. But by then the version that would provide the song’s biggest hit of that time, by Glenn Miller with Ray Eberle on vocals, was already in the can, having been recorded on 13 May.

In 1941, Blueberry Hill was sung by Gene Autry in the movie The Singing Hill (as a result there are obviously wrong claims that Autry was the first to actually record the song). The song was never really forgotten — Louis Armstrong recorded it in 1949 but would have a hit with it only the next decade. But it became a million-seller only in 1956 with Fats Domino’s iconic, souped-up version.

As so often with cover versions that become classics, the idea to record it was an afterthought. When during a session in Los Angeles Domino ran out of songs, he suggested Blueberry Hill. Producer Dave Bartholomew (who died in June at the age of 100) needed to be convinced of the song.

In the end his production sold 5 million copies worldwide and provided the template for many covers, including one by Elvis Presley. Domino might have had the great idea to record the song, but he was useless at remembering the correct lyrics. In the end, the engineer spliced together the correctly delivered lyrics from different takes.


The original version of Fever was the work of Little Willie John, but the finger-snapping arrangement with which we associate the song was inaugurated by Peggy Lee.

Little Willie John should command a prominent place in music history, not necessarily for his catalogue of music, but certainly for his influence. Before Sam Cooke, before James Brown, before Ray Charles, he was at the vanguard of singers who build the bridge between the R&B genre — which was then called “race music” — to the relatively smoother sounds of soul.

Perhaps dying in jail in 1968 while serving a sentence for manslaughter contributed to his legacy being relegated to the periphery.

Little Willie John’s 1956 version of Fever is a light, jazzy affair with soul vocals which anticipate Jackie Wilson, co-written by rock & roll legend Otis Blackwell (Great Balls Of Fire, All Shook Up, Don’t Be Cruel). Two years later, Peggy Lee set the template with snapping fingers, sparse bass and drum, and two added verses (including those namechecking Romeo, Juliet and Pocahontas), creating an almost unbearable sexual tension. It is her take which has been covered to the point of cliché.


This Ole House
The story goes that in 1949 actor and cowboy-country singer Stuart Hamblen was hunting with John Wayne in a remote part of Texas when they happened upon an abandoned, crumbling hut, miles from the nearest road. Intrigued, they entered, finding the corpse of an old mountain man. Hamblen wrote the lyrics for This Ole House right there, on a sandwich bag. As a song about dying, Hamblen’s recording was upbeat yet poignant.

Hamblen sang the song from the first person perspective. Rosemary Clooney in her 1954 hit version became a spectator to the man’s death, giving it a rather indecorous upbeat treatment. In Clooney’s version, it seems that the death of the man is a matter of gratification. The record-buying public didn’t mind: her version topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic (two concurrently released versions in Britain notwithstanding).

In 1981 Welsh rock & roll revivalist Shakin’ Stevens resurrected the dead man’s epitaph in similar bouncy fashion, also topping the UK charts.

As for Stuart Hamblen, shortly after writing This Ole House he experienced a religious conversion at a Billy Graham rally, and became a broadcaster of Christian material. Having lost as a Democrat congressional candidate back in 1933, he ran as the Prohibition Party’s candidate for US president in 1952, picking up 72,949 sober votes. He died at 80 in 1989.


The Twist
Dick Clark, the legendary TV presenter who played such a big role in the evolution of rock & roll, believed that The Twist was the genre’s most important song because it was the first rock & roll record that a whole generation could freely admit to liking, from teenagers in tight jeans to jewellery rattling socialites and celebrities ranging from Marilyn Monroe to Truman Capote (even Jackie Kennedy was said to have twisted in the White House).

Indeed, so popular was The Twist — the song and the dance — that Chubby Checker topped the US charts twice with it, for a week in September 1960 and then for two weeks in January 1962.

Clark is a protagonist in the story of the song which was written by Hank Ballard, the frontman of the R&B group The Midnighters. Ballard — who was born John Henry Kendricks in Detroit but grew up in Alalabama — and his band had enjoyed a string of hits with raunchy singles with titles such as Get It and Sexy Ways; they were so bawdy that they were banned from the airwaves.

The Twist, recorded on 11 November 1959, was only a b-side to a Henry Glover ballad titled Teardrops On Your Letter, much to Hank’s annoyance. The single reached #4 on the R&B charts, and #87 in the pop charts. The flip side, now so much more famous, also attracted some attention, reaching #16 on the R&B charts (US charts have comprised radio play as well as sales).

When in early 1960 Ballard’s single Finger Poppin’ Time was a top 10 hit, the record label, King, gave The Twist a commercial push, resulting in a pop hit that peaked at #26. Dick Clark became interested in featuring The Twist on American Bandstand show, which ran five days a week. In the event, it was performed on The Dick Clark Show on 6 August 1960 (though the first TV performance was on New York’s Clay Cole Show).

But it wasn’t Hank Ballard and the Midnighters who performed on the programme. It is not quite clear whether this was due to Ballard’s unavailability (which would be a vicious, er, twist of fate) or to Ballard’s raunchy reputation. Whatever the case, The Twist was recorded by Chubby Checker in July 1960 and performed by him on Clark’s show

Checker had recorded for Clark before. In fact, the man born Ernest Evans received his stage name from Clark’s wife. He was already nicknamed Chubby, but she gave him the surname by coining a pun on the name Fats Domino, whom Chubby had just impersonated (you get it: Chubby/Fats and Domino/Checkers). Clark chose Checker to sing The Twist because he sounded a bit like Ballard, and the cover sounded much like the original. Ballard later said that when he first heard Checker’s version on the radio, he thought it was his own record playing (lending credence to the idea that Clark deliberately bypassed the writer and first performer of the song).

The Twist and several Twist-themed follow-ups served to typecast Checker as a novelty song merchant. The word “twist” was an old African-American term for dancing, though the silly moves of the early dance craze were Checker’s (who had seen young people improvising it to Ballard’s song). The word was used to denote dancing on Clyde McPhatter & the Drifters’ 1953 song Let the Boogie Woogie Roll (“and when she did the twist she bopped me to my soul”).

Ballard, who died in 2003, reportedly was not resentful at being denied success with The Twist. One hopes that he received bountiful royalties from the song.

One song whose origins are discussed in some detail elsewhere is Blue Moon, which has been the subject of a Song Swarm.

As always, CD-R length, home-petticoated covers, PW in comments.


1. Sonny Dae & His Knights – Rock Around The Clock (1953)
The Usurper: Bill Haley and His Comets (1954)

2. Esquire Boys with Kay Karol – Rock-a-Beatin’ Boogie (1952)
The Usurper: Bill Haley and His Comets (1955)

3. Bobby Charles – Later Alligator (1955)
The Usurper: Bill Haley and His Comets (as See You Later Alligator, 1954)

4. Jimmy Preston and his Prestonians – Rock This Joint (1949)
The Usurper: Bill Haley and His Comets (1952/1957)

5. Big Joe Turner – Shake, Rattle & Roll (1954)
The Usurper: Bill Haley and His Comets (1954)

6. Big Maybelle – Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On (1955)
The Usurper: Jerry Lee Lewis (1957)

7. Buddy Holly & The 3 Tunes – That’ll Be The Day (1956)
The Usurper: Buddy Holly & The Crickets (1957)

8. Sonny West – Rave On (1958)
The Usurper: Buddy Holly & The Crickets (1958)

9. Marty Robbins – Singing The Blues (1956)
The Usurpers: Guy Mitchell (1957); Tommy Steele (1957)

10. Johnny Duncan – Hello Mary Lou, Goodbye Heart (1960)
The Usurper: Ricky Nelson (1961)

11. Stuart Hamblen – This Ole House (1954)
The Usurpers: Rosemary Clooney (1954); Shakin’ Stevens (1981)

12. Burl Ives – Ghost Riders In The Sky (1949)
The Usurpers: Vaughn Monroe (1949), The Ramrods (1961)

13. The Platters – Only You (And You Alone) (1954)
The Usurper: The Platters (1956)

14. The Three Suns – Twilight Time (1944)
The Usurper: Les Brown & His Band of Renown (1944), The Platters (1958)

15. Glenn Miller And His Orchestra with Ray Eberl – My Prayer (1939)
The Usurper: The Ink Spots (1939), The Platters (1956)

16. Gertrude Niesen with Ray Sinatra’s Orchestra – Smoke Gets In Your Eyes (1933)
The Usurper: Paul Whiteman (1934), The Platters (1958)

17. Swing And Sway With Sammy Kaye – Blueberry Hill (1940)
The Usurpers: Gene Autry (1941), Glenn Miller Orchestra (1941), Fats Domino (1956)

18. The Prisonaires – Just Walkin’ In The Rain (1953)
The Usurper: Johnnie Ray (1956)

19. Little Willie John – Fever (1956)
The Usurpers: Peggy Lee (1958), Elvis Presley (1960), Michhael Bublé (2003)

20. Priscilla Bowman – A Rockin’ Good Way (1958)
The Usurpers: Dinah Washington & Brook Benton (1960); Shakin’ Stevens & Bonnie Tyler (1983)

21. Hank Ballard & the Midnighters – The Twist (1959)
The Usurper: Chubby Checker (1960)

22. Ronald & Ruby – Lollipop (1958)
The Usurpers: The Chordettes (1958), The Mudlarks (1958)

23. Edric Connor and The Caribbeans – Day Dah Light (1954)
The Usurper: Harry Belafonte (as Day-O [The Banana Boat Song], 1956)

24. El Jarocho – La Bamba (1939)
The Usurpers: Ritchie Valens (1958), Los Lobos (1987)

25. Ted Black and his Orchestra – Love Letters In The Sand (1931)
The Usurper: Pat Boone (1957)

26. Glen Gray and his Casa Loma Orchestra feat Kenny Sargent – Blue Moon (1935)
The Usurpers: Mel Tormé (1949), Elvis Presley (1954), The Marcels (1961)

27. Dick Powell – I Only Have Eyes For You (1934)
The Usurpers: Peggy Lee (1947), The Flamingos (1959)

28. Billy Jones & Ernest Hare – Does The Spearmint Lose Its Flavor On The Bedpost Overnight (1924)
The Usurper: Lonnie Donegan (as Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour, 1959)


More Originals:
The Originals: The Classics
The Originals: Soul
The Originals: Motown
The Originals: Country
The Originals: The Rock & Roll Years
The Originals: 1960s Vol. 1
The Originals: 1970s Vol. 1
The Originals: 1970s Vol. 2
The Originals: 1980s Vol. 1
The Originals: 1990s & 2000s
The Originals: Beatles edition
The Originals: Elvis Presley Edition Vol. 1
The Originals:  Elvis Presley Edition Vol. 2
The Originals: : Carpenters Edition
The Originals: Burt Bacharach Edition
The Originals: Schlager Edition
The Originals: Christmas Edition

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  1. halfhearteddude
    August 22nd, 2019 at 07:30 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. Stephen Mitchell
    August 22nd, 2019 at 16:52 | #2

    Thank you for another wonderful history lesson. Your knowledge of music amazes me.

  3. Philippe from France
    August 24th, 2019 at 16:50 | #3

    I think the first name of “Rock around the clock” soloist is Danny and not Benny

  4. Rhodb
    August 24th, 2019 at 22:31 | #4

    Thanks for the Originals love this series

    Big Joe Turner is an absolute favourite



  5. halfhearteddude
    August 25th, 2019 at 12:38 | #5

    So it was, of course. A slip of concentration there. Merci beaucoup for pointing it out.

  6. October 22nd, 2023 at 22:46 | #6

    NRBQ’s version of “This Old House” was released in 1979. Terry Adams has said that Shakin’ Stevens stole the NRBQ arrangement. But I wonder if Terry knew the original, or if he thought NRBQ turned the Rosemary Clooney version into a rockabily song?

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